Spin city

Sunday was the CCSCC Test and Tune. On Saturday, I participated in the Autocross School as a worker, and also took the class on how to run the AxWare computer system that the club has finally figured out how to use for the upcoming autocross season. So I got free entry into the Test and Tune, and I took the opportunity to get reacquainted with the Miata.

The day was not all that great. On Saturday night, I installed the 14×6 “hollow spoke” wheels onto the Miata, which is the set of wheels that I plan on using as my competition set. As of right now, the wheels are wearing 45-series Toyo summer tires, which are much shorter than stock. As a result, with these tires, the car has a comically large wheel gap.

I was not used to the smaller tires during the Test and Tune. I was spinning all over the place, and I felt like I didn’t have the same level of grip that I had when I was running my 16 inch wheels with the Michelin Pilot Sports. Not only that, because of the shorter wheel and tire height, my gearing became really short, and I had to shift into third gear in the middle of the course. At the end of the day, I had spun out on four of my six runs of the day.

Not only that, but my brakes really sucked. At the first hairpin of the course, I locked up the brakes twice and nearly sent my car into the grass. I let Martin drive my car, and he also locked up the brakes at the first hairpin. My brake pedal feel isn’t there any more, and I don’t know why. The brake feel disappeared during the winter, and changing the brake fluid in February didn’t help. Martin suggested that the problem my be lack of lubrication in the slider pins in the brakes. I need to take a look at the brakes before the first autocross of the season.

Fortunately for me, Ingles invited me to bring my Miata down to Arthur and work on it at his buddy’s shop. I’m going to him up on the offer and install my shocks and diagnose my brakes. I just ordered the shock boots and bumpstops from Flyin’ Miata today and hopefully they will get to me before Saturday. I’m also planning on taking the crappy Toyo summer tires off my wheels and put on my Azenis.

I’m still debating as to whether or not I should buy some good competition tires for the Miata. The car is such a hoot on street tires that imagining all the fun I can have with the car if I had more grip just makes me really giddy.